I paid for a download of Steps to Heaven after reading an author interview.
I like police procedural stories and Wendy Cartmell's had the bonus of military police, too. The interaction between the civil and military was interesting. The settings were well described as were most of the characters.
Story (from the book page): Sergeant Major Crane, is a Special Investigations Branch Detective in the British Army, based at Aldershot Garrison. Crane is disturbed by the horrific case of a soldier who, after recently returning from Afghanistan, murdered his wife and 6 year old son and then committed suicide. It seems Solomon was attending a local Church, offering salvation. But as Crane investigates and the body count rises, events take a darker turn and he wonders if the Church is offering salvation, or slaughter...?
Unfortunately the story had few surprises for me, and I didn't like the protagonist who seemed borderline bipolar. He rarely just spoke to anyone: he shouted and stomped, was sarcastic and couldn't sit still. He was unreasonably irritated by anything that didn't seem to go his way. Maybe this is something that will be developed in future books (this is the first of a series).
That Wendy Cartmell wrote the story in present tense would have been okay if there hadn't been slip ups and sentences with both present and past tense. A copy editor would have been helpful to catch this and to correct the absence of commas ("Oh by the way Crane..." and many others), the misspelled words (waives should have been waves, and others), and awkward phrases ("squalling showers," "the syntaxes in his brain start to pop," and others).
I always try to take off my editor hat when reading, but some of these problems distracted me from the story. Nonetheless, with a fast pace and plenty of action, Steps of Heaven is an energetic beginning for a new mystery writer.